GBT – a trajectory for future success
In this exclusive interview, Harry Morris shares his story of the evolution of EMS Dental in the UK and Ireland. As well as how the team rose to the challenge of the pandemic, and what the future looks like for dental hygiene as we herald in the new year.
What were things like for you when you joined EMS at the same time as the launch of the UK office?
When I joined EMS in 2018 as area sales manager for the Midlands, I was so excited. I saw how well the company was doing in mainland Europe and it looked a great opportunity, to be part of growing the UK offering.
EMS already had a presence in the UK. There were dental hygienists and therapists on board who were all incredibly passionate about the airflow technology and the guided biofilm therapy (GBT) protocol. And the launch of the offices over here meant they could get direct support from EMS. We could grow awareness more quickly.
As we he hoped, from the off, there was a huge demand for information about GBT from the UK dental profession; they were waiting for us to open this direct avenue for them and the floodgates opened.
We were getting a huge number of requests for demos, then orders and then handovers of the systems.
How did you go about creating even greater awareness after this initial reaction?
The sales increased by 85% in 2018 and, truthfully, 2019 was crazy! We were running around and employing staff to meet demand.
Of course, we didn’t want to drop the ball and so were keeping one eye on the future, which is, in part, where the training element really came into its own.
We had incredible UK-based Swiss Dental Academy trainers running introductory and hands-on courses. Then we had the idea of expanding that to GBT ambassadors.
Anna Middleton was our first ambassador and she helped to get a new perspective out there in terms of both patient and practice benefits that went down really well with the profession, as well as with her own patients. The public plugged into her social media.
So, there you are, flying high, and 2020 hits. What was that like for the business?
We had a really good start to 2020, sales were up. There were new trainers ready to get their teeth into things. We were in full flight.
I think that we would have continued that growth trajectory in ordinary circumstances. But then, of course, we and everyone else worldwide found themselves in a unique situation.
That said, EMS didn’t furlough anyone. Rather they took that time to work with the team and soon had in place a three-month online education programme on all sorts of dental subjects. Including, naturally, GBT.
So, every day, dental professionals could sign in, remotely attend a course, learn about interesting new subjects and then take a quiz.
The demand for GBT never waned. We were back out on the road in the autumn of 2020 when the rules allowed. This was in line with all necessary precautions to keep our customers and ourselves safe.
That brings us to 2021, which I believe has been a big year for EMS and you, in particular?
This year’s been great. There have obviously been challenges and we’ve had to adapt various things and learn new information, but we have still grown.
It’s about 35% to 40% growth compared to 2019, so we are back on track; we are comparing with 2019 as 2020 is difficult to measure in a meaningful way for the business.
Swiss Dental Academy courses have evolved. They’re now master classes with a little bit more structure to them and offering even more value than previously.
We’ve also got a full sales team, all doing well, working hard. Now the infrastructure’s there for the growth, it is becoming easier to follow our business plan.
As for me, I’m now the sales manager for the UK. I feel so excited and proud to be where I am now.
The role means I can offer my sales colleagues more support, so they can stay focused on their day-to-day jobs. It also enables me to build professional, academic and trade relationships and make new connections, which I love doing.
How does the GBT offering meet the current needs of hygienists and therapists in the UK?
For a while there, it was like the world stopped turning and, now it’s restarting, things are different. But it gives you that opportunity and impetus to make positive change.
I believe GBT offers dental professionals and their businesses an opportunity to do something more for their patients, themselves, and their bottom line.
It’s a chance to say: ‘We’re changing the way we do hygiene’, and to relaunch your hygiene department in an easily marketable way. There are so many benefits to GBT that it practically sells itself through word of mouth alone.
GBT is unique, in part because we use the airflow equipment with Plus powder. This is the first high-tech powder that removes biofilm and young calculus in a minimally invasive way from all surfaces, including enamel, dentine, soft tissue, restorations, orthodontic appliances and implant surfaces.
The active ingredient – the erythritol-based molecule – represents the most finely grained particle in the world of dentistry. The benefit of this type of powder is a selective minimally abrasive spray; the ability to remove biofilm efficiently whilst leaving soft and hard tissues unharmed.
What can we expect from EMS in 2022?
For all hygienists, whether they’re disillusioned or whether they’re loving their job, and everything in between, I always say that EMS has three priorities.
The first is patient health-focused. A very close second is the clinicians and their enjoyment of their role and their overall happiness. Followed thirdly by the business aspect of the practice.
GBT in practice
Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) is an evidence-based, indication-orientated, systematic, modular prevention or prophylaxis and therapy protocol for all dental applications.
It is divided into eight simple steps:
- Assess – probe and screen every clinical case
- Disclose – make biofilm visible
- Motivate – raise awareness and teach
- Airflow – remove biofilm, stains and early calculus
- Perioflow – remove biofilm in >4 to 9 mm pockets
- Piezon No Pain – remove remaining calculus
- Check – make your patient smile
- Recall – a healthy patient equals a happy patient.
If you would like further details about what EMS Dental has to offer dental professionals in the UK, please visit www.ems-dental.com.